While Rays of Hope has programmes that cater for vulnerable people of all ages, it’s been one of our longstanding goals to have our own early childhood development centre, as the importance of laying the basic foundation building blocks in a young person’s education simply cannot be underestimated.

According to Unicef, ‘Early years of childhood form the basis of intelligence, personality, social behaviour, and capacity to learn and nurture oneself as an adult. There is (also) significant evidence that links the circumstances of adversity and abits formed in early years to the non-communicable diseases of adulthood’.

That’s why we were so pleased and grateful when Save the Children South Africa asked us to take over the Hlayisani ECD Centre in Stwetla, which provides a stimulating environment for children aged three to five years, preparing them for their entry into Grade 0 at local schools.

Save the Children invested extensively in the centre over its 30 years in operatoin, and have gifted us with the kind of beautiful and practical resource seldom seen in Alexandra – and this all in one of the township’s most vulnerable areas.

The school accommodates 72 children across three classes, each with its own teacher and teaching assistant. The day starts with breakfast, followed by structured activities during the morning. After lunch and naptime, the afternoon is spent at play.

Even though we have now been empowered to run the centre and provide a safe environment of early learning for the area’s youngsters, Rays of Hope is seeking sponsorship for the children that will be welcomed to the centre.

This funding will be used to feed the children, and provide stationery, books, wall charts, and puzzles to enrich their education, as well as for sleeping mats for those all-important naps. Sponsorship is also sought to provide the teachers with further training.

These are also Future Legends – and investing in their early development is surely a wonderful way to invest in their future, and that of South Africa too.

If you would like to sponsor a Hlayisani Future Legend, please visit our sponsorship page.